People set goals too high and then get disappointed. We should encourage setting small goals and keeping promises to ourselves. Setting the right goal is half the battle won. A minimum viable goal (MVG) is the smallest goal that you have yet to achieve.
To arrive at an MVG, I encourage you to use the slice-and-dice approach.
Say that you want to run a marathon for example. Let’s break it down:
Can you already run a half-marathon (21km)?
What about 10km?
For beginners, 3km (or even 1km) could be a good MVG.
If you want to write a book, the stepping stones would be to publish a long-form blog post or a Twitter thread. Want to do fifty push-ups? Set a goal of ten first. If that’s too difficult, aim for just two!
Now I’m not advocating to only aim small. By all means, shoot for the moon. But keep in mind that long-term goals, by their nature, will take a long time to accomplish. They’re there to serve as the North Star to your life. You might want to run a marathon, or write a book. Adding MVGs into the mix is a healthier approach than setting stretch goals that set you up for failure.
The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Neither too hard, nor too easy. Just right. MVGs take you one step ahead in the direction you want to go in.
Use this to your advantage to steadily increase the difficulty of your next MVG to lie in that sweet spot of challenging, yet achievable. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have hit your limit. A limit is just a mental barrier that your mind subconsciously restricts you with.
After running 5km many times, you might put off gunning for 10km. But that’s your north-star goal! You can define your MVG to be 6km. Didn’t work? Define your MVG as 5.5km.
I promise you that’s achievable.
Now go and do wonders.
And don’t forget to HAVE FUN!
What’s your current MVG?